Britain’s Energy Technologies Institute has unveiled plans to build the world’s largest open access wind turbine drive for the next generation of high-power large wind turbines.

Two companies – Converteam and Horiba Instruments will deliver competing designs for an indoor test-rig capable of dynamically testing a complete wind turbine drive train and nacelle with input power up to 15MW, the Institute said.

The test rig will support the development of the turbines, expected to produce lower cost electricity from the turbine arrays in the Crown Estate’s Round 3 Offshore Program.

The rig is expected to reduce the technical and commercial risks of mass production and deployment of wind turbines, accelerating development of new low-cost prototypes.

The test rig is planned for the Narec site in Northumberland that will house the largest wind array for Round 3.